Pelicans’ latest move hiring Mike D’Antoni should thrill Zion Williamson
Mike D’Antoni recently resigned from Steve Nash’s Brooklyn Nets coaching staff, but now he’s getting back in the game with the New Orleans Pelicans, who just hired Willie Green to be their head coach. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, D’Antoni will be a consultant to Green’s staff.
Here are more details:
D'Antoni completed a season on Steve Nash's Brooklyn staff as a full-time assistant before stepping down recently. D'Antoni will periodically spend time with Pelicans' coaching staff through summer league, training camp and season, per sources.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 4, 2021
It seems D’Antoni didn’t want a full-time gig anymore, but this will still give him the opportunity to work and provide his expertise to a first-time head coach and his staff. The Pelicans hired Green away from the Phoenix Suns to replace Stan Van Gundy, who was fired after just one season.
New Orleans needs to take a step forward under Green after a disappointing 2020-21 season. There have already been some rumblings through the grapevine about Zion Williamson’s future with the franchise, so the Pelicans need to build a winner to convince him to stick around for the long haul. While they’re likely not in danger of losing him in the immediate future, the team needs to show some real progress soon.
Having D’Antoni around should only help. While he has his flaws as a coach, he has also had a lot of success and has built up a ton of knowledge over the years. Green, Zion and everybody else on the Pelicans should learn a lot from D’Antoni’s consulting.